NCAA Football: Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Colorado State Rams Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 11, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 10 p.m. ET, Sept. 11, 2021
Venue: Canvas Stadium, Fort Collins, CO
Where to watch: CBS Sports Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Colorado State -7; O/U 51; Colorado State -275, Vanderbilt +220
BetMGM: Colorado State -7; O/U NA; Colorado State -250, Vanderbilt +200
Caesars: Colorado State -7; O/U 50.5; Colorado State -270, Vanderbilt +220

Season record
Vanderbilt: 0-1
Colorado State: 0-1 

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Vanderbilt - Colorado State preview and analysis

Recent form
Vanderbilt: lost 23-3 vs. East Tennessee State on Sept. 4
Colorado State: lost 42-23 vs. South Dakota State on Sept. 3

There’s only shame in losing to an FCS team if said squad isn’t coming off an appearance in the national championship game.

By law, the Colorado State Rams are forgiven. CSU opened the season with a 42-23 loss to national runner-up South Dakota State; it was also at home, so maybe the Rams do get docked some style points for that.

But fear not, Rams fans. Your time of sadness and dread is nearly at its end because the Vanderbilt Commodores are descending upon your grounds on Saturday.

Just a quick word of encouragement to the CSU contingent: Life has been tough the last few seasons. You see the end of the Mike Bobo era, Steve Addazio comes in for a COVID-shortened season and your program has only won eight games the past three seasons. Yes, you’re not that far removed from the Las Vegas Bowl and Jim McElwain’s departure didn’t help matters, but always know it could be worse.

Look no further than the team coming to Fort Collins.

Vanderbilt lost its 11th consecutive game on Saturday, 23-3 to the East Tennessee State Buccaneers, and for the 14th time in 15 games. Safe to say the transition from Derek Mason to the début of Clark Lea as the Commodores’ head coach has not gotten off to the hottest of starts for ol’ Vandy. They had as many turnovers as points. It was that bad.

Colorado State has a new quarterback in Todd Centeio, who actually played very well in his debut going 29-of-42 for 304 yards and no interceptions leading the Rams offense. Only downside was one touchdown pass, and his running game didn’t produce (3.1 yards per carry). Centeio is a dual-threat QB who could break this game open if Vanderbilt’s run defense has another rough day. East Tennessee State running back Quay Holmes ran for 149 yards on 23 carries in the win against the in-state big brothers as the inferior foe.

But Vanderbilt is going to need to keep a sharp eye on tight end Trey McBride, who had 13 catches for 116 yards last week. If he gets free, there’s no stopping Colorado State on this day in what’s bound to be a total discrepancy in total yards of offense.


Vanderbilt football is a bit away from getting back to contention status, and while Colorado State wasn’t any better last week, we don’t see any need to get frantic over a potential road upset. Vanderbilt is 2-8 against the spread since 2017 as a road dog, and the thought of them pulling off this upset after last week’s debacle is too ridiculous against CSU’s offense. Colorado State by 17.

Betting trends

Vanderbilt is 1-17 in its last 18 games straight up as a road underdog.

Colorado State is 4-2 against the spread in its last six following a game where it allowed at least 37 points.

Players to watch

Vanderbilt: The Commodores are going to need to control this game on the ground. Re’Mahn Davis is coming off a game where he had 58 yards on 15 carries. If the Commodores can get something going in the air, sophomore receiver Will Sheppard will get plenty of looks.

Colorado State: Dante Wright is another receiver to keep an eye on in the Rams passing attack. Wright had six catches for 103 yards. His success is imperative to Colorado State odds of winning this one.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Ken Seals -- 195 yards, 2 INT
Rushing: Re’Mahn Davis -- 58 yards
Receiving: Will Sheppard -- 84 yards
Defense: Ethan Barr -- 11 tackles

Colorado State:
Passing: Todd Centeio -- 304 yards, 1 TD
Rushing: David Bailey -- 46 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Trey McBride -116 yards
Defense: Tywan Francis -- 11 tackles

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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